Beware Of These 5 Social Media Mistakes

Beware Of These 5 Social Media Mistakes

Social media sites have become a powerful way to market your brand, but anyone who follows the news is aware they present pitfalls as well. Companies end up apologizing over ill-advised tweets. Individuals create controversy with Facebook posts they thought were innocuous – or perhaps knew would be controversial but didn’t anticipate just how controversial. If you’re like me, you probably have more than enough headaches without adding a social media blunder to the list! So to help you avoid some of the more common mistakes that businesses and individuals make, I asked EMSI’s social media team to chime in. Here’s how they say many people go astray: Treating every platform the same. Social media sites are different and you need to approach them differently. Facebook, for example, is the most consumer-friendly and the first place most people go, whether they want to share photos of their grandchildren or learn what others have to say about their experiences with a business. LinkedIn is better for business and professional purposes. Twitter, with its character limit on messages, is the high-speed, information-now site. It’s a great place to check news updates. You also can get away with posting more often here than you can on other sites. Posting too frequently – or not frequently enough. You want a happy balance here. Some people flood their followers with Facebook posts. It becomes too much of a good thing and your followers’ eyes glaze over as they scroll quickly past your latest post – perhaps thinking, “Oh, no! Not him or her again!” On the other hand, out of sight is out of...
Bringing Your Old Marketing Techniques Into the New Millennium

Bringing Your Old Marketing Techniques Into the New Millennium

Recently, I was speaking with a couple of old-school marketers who have a great track record of success, but are beginning to find that many of their old tricks no longer work as well. For example, in the past they had made great use of advertorials – those full-page newspaper advertisements that are designed to look and read like a news article – but because of the decline of the print industry they weren’t experiencing the same return on investment they once did. I sympathized. But, I also understood their situation because there’s been a shift in the marketing landscape and much of that shift has been driven by our migration to a digital world. Since traditional print wasn’t working for them, I suggested they go to bloggers who might write about their product. They quickly rejected that idea. “Social media doesn’t work,” was the response. Without bothering to point out that bloggers and social media aren’t the same thing, I thought to myself, “Yes, they very much are still old school.” But it’s time to get new school. We need to be mixing old and new because digital marketing brings brand awareness and brand equity that supports traditional marketing efforts. Before consumers make buying decisions today, the majority go online to research information about products. They read reviews and learn everything they can – pro and con – about you, your product, your business and your competitors! In fact, studies show that 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, and 61 percent read product reviews before they buy. What they learn about you should...
Social Media Just Changed Again! Did Your Marketing Strategy?

Social Media Just Changed Again! Did Your Marketing Strategy?

Just the other morning I was reminded (as if I needed any reminding!) that social media evolves more quickly than I can type in my username and password. On that day, Jay York and Brittany Vaill, two of EMSI’s social media strategists, were discussing changes in the works for Instagram and what the implications might be for us and our clients. As I listened to them discuss – and at times bemoan – what was happening with Instagram, it hit me that the details of this particular change weren’t nearly as crucial as the fact that a change was happening at all. (Jay smilingly said, “Marsha, get used to it!”) But, why is this important? Because each change in how social media platforms operate affects how well or how poorly individuals and businesses use them in their marketing and personal branding efforts. By now, nearly everybody agrees that social media is a key ingredient to any marketing plan, but aimlessly tweeting and liking things doesn’t get the job done. If you’re serious about social media as a marketing tool – and you should be – it’s essential to have a professional involved who would track trends and adapt your marketing strategy to the newest features available – like when Instagram switches things up on you. We’ve even reached the point where colleges and technical schools recognize that social media is a necessary ingredient for public relations and marketing, and have added social media courses and degree programs to their curriculum. Let’s take one example. The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising offers both two-year and four-year social media degrees,...
How To Harness The Power of Digital Print Coverage

How To Harness The Power of Digital Print Coverage

On occasion I still work with clients who need a little convincing – OK, in some instances a lot of convincing – about the strong PR value of articles that appear online, as opposed to appearing in traditional print. And just as I’m puzzling over how to explain it one more time, along comes a situation that makes my case for me. Here’s what happened: Essence Magazine just wrote a flattering piece about a product we submitted on behalf of a client. And, they were as overjoyed as we were at this valuable exposure. While the positive coverage was an excellent “hit” for the client on its own merits, the online exposure from the magazines’ own social media promotion added a multiplier effect. The product enjoyed an extraordinary boost by being disseminated to the magazine’s hundreds of thousands of followers. Essence directed their readers right to the article about the product through Twitter – and not just once, but multiple times over several days. You know, just in case they happened to miss it the first time. Or the second time. Or the third time. Or… This editorial coverage cultivates brand equity that money can’t buy. While traditional print has many of its own virtues, it’s hard to argue with the extra advantages that come with digital print. For one thing, it has staying power. It’s not unusual on the Internet to come across still-relevant articles that are one year, five years or 10 years old. And, of course, one of the greatest benefits is the ease with which an article can be shared, just the way Essence shared...
Use Social Media To Promote Your Small Business

Use Social Media To Promote Your Small Business

No one really needs to convince me how great social media is for connecting you to your customers – and keeping you connected – but the point was reinforced perhaps better than ever this week when I was chatting with Jay York, our senior social media strategist. Jay was telling me about Datz, a restaurant near his home in Tampa, that has impressed him with its excellent use of social media as a marketing tool. Talk about connecting! Datz has more than 12,000 followers on Twitter. It has nearly 8,000 on Instagram. It has 1,280 mostly positive reviews on Yelp. And, perhaps most impressive of all, more than 40,000 people “like” Datz on Facebook. Those are remarkable numbers for any business. But especially when you consider that Datz is a local restaurant and not a recognizable brand name like McDonald’s! So why am I telling you this? Because this social media success story prompted me to have Jay share tips on how small businesses can make the most out of their social media to keep customers and potential customers thinking about them. Here’s what Jay had to say: Interact with customers. Engage your customers inside your business as well as outside it. Some of the most successful restaurant owners have mastered this, Jay says. They take the time to chat with and get to know their customers when they are dining at the restaurant, and they also interact with them on social media. Here’s where it’s worth remembering the “social” part of social media. These sites are all about having a conversation and people expect you to be involved...
Catch The Video-Marketing Wave (Without Wiping Out)

Catch The Video-Marketing Wave (Without Wiping Out)

If you happened to watch the Grammys this week, you probably noticed that among the many singer celebrities were Justin Bieber and Tori Kelly, two musical stars with something in common. Both originally attracted attention – and ultimately fat record contracts – because of videos posted on YouTube. OK, maybe you didn’t give all that much thought to these two, but I did because my team and I have been talking quite a bit lately about the power of video marketing, and the changing technology landscape that is making video more and more prevalent. And it’s not just recording stars such as Bieber and Kelly who have ridden the video wave to celebrity, says Brittany Vaill, a social media strategist here at EMSI. Makeup artists, comedians and a host of others have made themselves popular and successful through online videos. Perhaps you can, too. Regardless of your area of expertise – whether you’re an entrepreneur, author, or a financial professional – you should think about taking advantage of video as a great marketing tool. I know I am. Sometime in the next few weeks I plan to start making short video versions of the PR Insider – essentially a video synopsis that serves as an introduction to this print version. First, let’s get one thing clear. Video marketing is nothing new. My team reminded me about the Buggles hit, “Video Killed The Radio Star,” which was popular more than three decades ago! But Jay York, our senior social media strategist, tells me that what’s happened in the last few years – and continues to happen at seemingly breakneck speed...